Despite alleged attempts by Governor Nyesom Wike to frustrate investigations into the violence that greeted the December 10, 2016 legislative rerun in Rivers State, the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), apparently working hard undeterred and proving that it means business, has made a major move as it dismissed six of its men over alleged violation of directives during the polls.
Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Don Awunah, announced the policemen’s dismissal during a press conference in Abuja on Friday when he paraded the six policemen.
He said for their gross misconduct and violation of directives on police conduct during the election in Rivers State they would also be prosecuted for electoral offences.
The policemen, all aides of Governor Nyesom Wike, were said to have breached rules handed over by the High Command urging them to be of good conduct and desist from escorting their principals, notably public office holders and politicians to polling units throughout the period of the election.
He said: “These acts, if not checked can be inimical to discipline and proper administration of the Force. Their actions are capable of bringing the entire Nigeria Police Force to disrepute and portray the Force in a very bad light as a lawless organization not guided by the rule of law”, Nwunah said.
The dismissed officers are Inspr. Eyong Victor, Sgt Peter Ekpo, Sgt Oguni Goodluck, Sgt. Orji Nwoke, Sgt. Okpe Ezekiel and Sgt. Tanko Akor.
Nwunah explained that: “The Police personnel while in the convoy of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State Barr. Nyesom Wike on the date of election, 10th December, 2016 misused the firearms in their possession contrary to the provisions of Force Order 237.
“The Service personnel became overzealous, took laws into their hands and opened fire, causing panic in the crowd. They joined in storming the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and prevented the movement of election results of Emouha polling unit to the appropriate collation centre designated by INEC, in flagrant disregard and disobedience to senior Police officers present at the venue.
“The six Police officers, after the conclusion of investigation into this public mischief, were subjected to internal disciplinary measures, found guilty and consequently dismissed from the Force. They will be prosecuted under the Electoral Act to serve as a deterrent to others”, he added.